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The Talisman of Elam (Children of Hathor Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jim Mastro
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

When twelve-year-old Jason Hunter and his two friends discover a spaceship buried in the woods behind his New Hampshire home, his world is turned upside down. Suddenly, he finds himself fleeing the Earth on a desperate mission to save his abducted parents and prevent an alien invasion. The journey takes him halfway across the galaxy, where he must confront bizarre and deadly creatures, escape from a toxic region of space called the Vuhndalac Pit, and evade capture by a powerful alien leader intent on destroying him. Hidden somewhere among the stars is an ancient talisman that Jason must find before it is too late. If he is the Heir of Elam, the one person in the entire universe who can claim this talisman, he will be able to save his parents, and his planet. If he is not, touching it will be the last thing he ever does!

Product Description

About the Author

Jim Mastro has rescued wild dolphins, trained seals and sea lions, scuba-dived in the gloom under 15 feet of ice, done stand-up comedy, directed plays, and spent winters in Antarctica. He’s been a biologist, professional dancer, laboratory manager, college professor, drummer in a band, professional diver, research assistant, photographer, surfer, and water skier. Now he writes full time. The Talisman of Elam is the first book in his science fiction trilogy, Children of Hathor. Originally from San Diego, Jim now lives in New England with his wife, his son, and a small dog masquerading as a dust mop.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2206 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Publisher: New Paradigm Publications; 2 edition (12 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042RV13M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,209,205 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Sc-fi Twist 4 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
At first I didn't feel like I was going to like this novel as I normally stay away from young adult fiction but there was something about this book that caught my eye. The more I read of it the more intrigued I became and I found myself finishing this book in a day. I felt that this story had all the points of a sci-fi classics but it had a bit of a modern twist to the plot.

This novel is fast paced and will keep the reader turning the pages till the end. I found that all the characters had been well written and this a credit to the author. All the characters are very like able and I feel like the reader can really relate to these characters.

This book is an excellent young adult book that I feel and hope will be enjoyed by many people. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series and would recommend this to people that want to read a fun and enjoyable book.

A copy of this book was received for free and all opinions expressed are my own through reading this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rebirth of Sci-Fi? 7 Aug. 2010
By Zer0 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
J.K. Rowling made magic accessible, Rick Riordan brought the gods into the 21st century, now comes Jim Mastro to bring classic science fiction back into the limelight. And Jason Hunter is just the hero to do it. Just as Harry Potter made fantasy an all age phenomenon, Jason makes the UFO cool again.
The characters are great and the plot pulls you in at every turn. This is science fiction at its best with a dash of galactic magic that will leave you wanting more.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A journey of Space and learning 21 Jan. 2011
By TicToc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Article first published as Book Review:The Talisman of Elam: Children of Hathor-Book I by Jim Mastro on Blogcritics.

Something is happening in young Jason Hunter's life that he does not understand. He is seeing some very odd things and when he discusses them with his parents they just nod and smile. He is determined that he is being followed and is in danger, but he is not able to get them to believe him. He finally talks to his friend Kevin Hayashi with whom he now shares everything. They are the best of friends ever since Jason saved Kevin from being beat up at school. As Kevin is trying to get more information from Jason about an object he found in the woods, another student shows up, Amelia Reis. She too is a friend of Kevin's and although has heard all about Jason, she has never met him.

Amelia does not fit in with the in crowd in school and is more like Jason and Kevin than anyone else. When Kevin invites her to listen in on the stories he is hearing from Jason, she is intrigued. Because she constantly has her camera with her and is a very curious person she is a good fit for adventure, and has the making of a great new friend.

Once she has left, Jason gets Kevin to come over so that he can help him follow his neighbors, whom he has dubbed the freaks. These are the very same people that seem to be following him, so he and Kevin decide to follow them into the woods. As night breaks, and the freaks leave their house for the woods, Kevin and Jason are right behind, they have every intention of finding out what is happening. When they run into Amelia in the woods, Jason is a bit upset, but she is adamant. She too is following these freaks, and will not leave.

Finding a hidden space ship is the very last thing that any of them expected. Even worse, they find that not only have these neighbors been following Jason, but that his real parents have been kidnapped and only he can save them. He must travel to space and find an ancient talisman, both to prevent destruction of the earth and to save his parents from death. As his friends finally agree to help him in this quest, little do they know that they will learn secrets about themselves unknown to all, and that not only the earth is in danger but the entire galaxy itself is in jeopardy. They find strengths within that make them the perfect foil for Jason, who discovers that he is the Heir of Elam. With the help of Shalan, one of the freaks as he calls them, he becomes someone he does not recognize, and yet it is what he needs in order to survive.

In The Talisman of Elam, Jim Mastro has put together a story of adventure and suspense, a tale that can only be dreamed of. The story is strong and bold, delivering an impression of realism, with characters that walk right off the pages. Jason has to grow up quickly, and he steps up and takes the challenge. Kevin is bright and very much into gaming, and with his background he is able to guide the space ship through dangerous situations, saving the group on several occasions. Amanda, with her background in languages, is very adaptable and picks up new languages easier, but is also the most human, wanting to be home, while the boys are enjoying the situations as they occur.

Shalan starts out as an unknown and while she is still very introspective throughout the first part of the book, when she finally breaks out of her shell she is courageous and very intelligent. She knows the information that will be needed, and when she is injured and almost killed, it takes everything that Jason, Kevin and Amanda have to keep her alive. She is their only link to both where they are going as well as their homes on earth and they need her.

The pace is quick and flowing, with strange and unique individuals, different and dangerous travel, and an exciting type of magic, which is imbued only to the owner of the Talisman.

This is a great young adult book, but with a strong story for anyone that is an enthusiast of science fiction. This is a first in the series of this young group of travelers, and I look forward to hearing more about them.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kind of Book Middle-Grade Science Fiction Needs 26 Jan. 2011
By Psyoren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Finding good science fiction is hard. Finding good science fiction for a middle-grade audience is even harder. But now seekers of space thrills need not look any further. The Talisman of Elam is what every young Star Wars geek (I say that with love) can hope for in a book.

The Talisman of Elam is classic science fiction with a modern twist. Mastro takes the reader on an amazing adventure as his characters pinball back and forth across the galaxy, encountering strange creatures at every stop as they search for the talisman. The plot is incredibly fast-paced (as Jason and his friends are constantly on the run), never leaving the reader with a dull moment. However, this doesn't mean that Mastro sacrifices the time to give enough background information or planet-related history to explain what's going on. As a matter of fact, I was a little surprised at how skillfully information is released throughout the story. Exactly the right amount of information is given at exactly the right time to completely construct the universe this plot takes place in and avoid confusion. Though the science fiction and fantasy elements of this novel are intelligent and complex, they are easy to understand because everything is grounded in some level of reality. It's so hard to find good middle grade science fiction that isn't dumbed down or just plane silly-cute for the sake of amusement, and I had a blast learning about the universe's history according to Shalan.

I loved getting to know the characters as well. For 12-year-olds, Jason and his friends handle the situation that they've been dragged into like champs. They're brave, rational, and trusting of each other while still maintaining the uncertainty and excitement that 12-year-olds are expected to have. Oh, and did I mention that they balance each other out? Jason, Kevin, and Amelia each bring something different to the team, and Mastro capitalizes on their unique talents to move the plot forward. Even without one, the team wouldn't have succeeded in any of their quests. In fact, just about every character mentioned plays an important role in some way, shape, or form, even if they don't return in the end. It was nice to realize that any name I had to memorize wasn't without reason, and it was nice to see Jason's friends weren't just there to support him as cheerleaders.

Though The Talisman of Elam may not be for everyone, those who do decide to pick it up will enjoy its heroes, exciting plot, and masterfully constructed environment. This is exactly the kind of book that the middle-grade science fiction section needs, and I CANNOT wait to get my hands on the next book! For those of you who are interested at taking a peek at the first few chapters of The Talisman of Elam, Mastro has been kind enough to post them on his website. For more information, or to read The Talisman of Elam, go to [...] I highly recommend it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engage. 5 Dec. 2010
By D. Lucchetti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When I was younger my interests in literature were typically focused on some of the greatest in the classic SciFi genre that welcomed young adults but still held interest for adults; Heinlein's "Have Space, Suit Will Travel" and Ray Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles", Asimov's "I Robot" stories, and even the "Tom Corbet Sace Cadet" series, to name just a few. If you are familiar with those authors and titles, you might surmise that those that interested me most were those that opened the worlds of science and the worlds of imaginative adventure fiction equally well, and "The Talisman of Elam" is welcome addition in keeping with that genre. Placing the characters within the modern world we all know, Jim Mastro's great writing style transports the reader into believable but distant reaches of space and within a briskly paced story that keeps the reader engaged, ready to follow and eager for more. I'll be sure to recommenend this to my friends and fellow readers whose family's have young readers with interests in science and a rousing fast paced adventure across the cosmos.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a series 17 May 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My Thoughts: To be honest, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this story or not. This is a middle grade young adult novel which may not appeal to everyone. The main characters: Jason, Kevin, and Amelia are in middle school and are only 12 years old. I wasn't sure if this was going to have more of a childish flair to it. I mean, how mature can 12 year old really be? I really do try to read all kinds of books because really how else are you going to know if you like it or not, unless you read it? Well, I love to be proven wrong! What fun this story was! Not once did I feel like the characters we too immature. Given the circumstances these characters where put in; I'd say they handled themselves very well.

Things I liked about this book:

*Story has a classic science fiction feel with lots of modern day twist and turns.
*Love that even though Jason didn't know his new found friends very long he is very loyal and trusting.
*It just wouldn't be the same if Amelia didn't have her camera with her at all times to take pictures of every unique thing or have the ability to learn the language of other species from other planets so easily.
*You shouldn't even consider stealing a spaceship unless you or your friends bedroom is fully equipped with a home entertainment system, 90 inch high definition TV and the ability to play Space Annihilator or Air Combat Simulator when you're not doing your homework or hanging out with friends.
*Made me pause and give the moon a little more thought and wondered what it really would be like if we could all travel through space like the Aliens do...even if it is for pretend! How awesome would that be?!

Jim Mastro takes you on an amazing adventure across the galaxy describing space travel as if it's part of our everyday life. While we're on our journey we make stops on planets in other galaxies, see their many moons, meet many unique characters along the way. We get to travel through space tunnels that allow the traveler to travel hundreds of light years in a matter of seconds. I thought it was all very fascinating and Mastro did a wonderful job at describing the detail of it all; from the atmosphere on other planets to the controls of the spaceship.

I thought the plot was very face paced and I defiantly wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. The characters were very likable. I wasn't sure if I liked Shalan very much in the beginning but it didn't take very long to understand her and like her too.

I'm excited that this is a trilogy and I look forward to seeing what journey Mastro has in mind next for Jason, Kevin and Amelia and I hope to see the return of a couple of characters I was quite fond of. I definitely recommend you checking this series out, it was such a fun read.
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